Pavel's Safe Hands

Pavel Srnicek signed for West Ham on Thursday - and immediately found himself also signing well over a thousand autographs for West Ham fans at the Open Day.

Self-deprecatingly, he jokes:

"I got used to this a long time ago with Newcastle!"

Pavel is delighted to be at Upton Park, having effectively replaced Rami Shaaban following his return to Arsenal after a month's loan, and he says:

"I feel good being here; I had a session and a talk with the manager and I am enjoying it here - I don't think there are any problems."

Could he stay longer?

"We haven't discussed these things yet," he says, "because I am here for a month and we will see how it goes afterwards.

"The situation is at it is at Portsmouth but it is not the best solution for me; this is a good chance and I have taken it."

Does he know Steve Bywater?

"He hasn't been playing for a long time so I don't know him too well, but I met him and he is a nice lad.

"There is competition for places, which is normal."

Pavel is a Czech compatriot of goalkeeping coach Ludek Miklsoko - so what language will they be using?

"I speak to him in the language which is written in my heart - the Czech one!"

Pavel will also be able to communicate in his mother tongue with Tomas Repka, and he adds:

"He is a good defender; I have played with him on many occasions for the national team and at club level as well so we know each other."